So we're going on a short trip to New Hampshire this weekend (with The Donaldsons!), which means I need to pack up 6.5 people's stuff to make sure we have everything we need. I would say that I need to pack for 7 people, but Phil is pretty good about getting his own stuff packed with the occasional "Should I bring this shirt or this one?" and "Why are you bringing so many pairs of shoes?" We've solved that last one by giving me my own suitcase.
Anyway, these are my five favorite things that I make sure we have when we leave the house:
Because nothing says "It's time to PAAAAAARTY!" like some chips and cookies, amiright? I pretend like I'm packing healthy snacks (fruit, peanut butter, bread, granola bars) but I stash the goodies in the bottom of the bag for Phil and I to snack on while the kids are sleeping. This is getting harder since having a girl because my Maggie can smell chocolate from a mile away. I find as long as I unwrap the chocolate really quietly, pop it in my mouth while hunched over so nobody sees what I'm doing, keep my mouth shut the whole time I'm chewing and don't breathe until it's long gone, then I'm golden.
Oh my goodness, do you know that carsickness runs on the maternal side of the family? No? Neither did I until I found that every.single.one of my kids inherited my carsickness. So, we give Dramamine to the most repeat offenders and bring plenty of ziploc bags in case something, errr, comes up. Bonus side effect of this wonder drug: sometimes the kids even sleep!
In conjunction with number 2 above, having a car full of motion-sickness-prone-kids means that said kids can not read books or watch movies in the car (#firstworldproblems) so we get books on CD from the library (this is what we'll be listening to this weekend) and play them until the baby starts crying which is when we switch over to Veggie Tales music, his current fave.
When your kids gotta go, they gotta go! Pulling over on the side of the road has happened one too many times for my liking, and with the boys, it's a relatively easy solution (just point away from the car) but girls are a little trickier to relieve. That's where this comes in really handy.
|Just look at how much fun he's having!|
Have your kids play the Quiet Game or the Statue Game or the Sleeping Game until they figure out that these games are only fun for the adults with headaches. Side note: my Dad used to always wish for one of those privacy screens in limos that he could just push a button and the divider would come up and he and my mom would be in their own little world. After five kids, I totally understand. In fact, I'm thinking they should come standard on passenger vans.
When all else fails, buy them a thick shake or hand them a huge lollipop to keep their little mouths busy for as long as possible and repeat the parenting mantra "We're almost there!"